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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Title II of ADA Does Not Cover Employee Discrimination

Title I of the Americans with Disability Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability.  Title II of the ADA provides that state and local governments may not exclude eligible disabled persons from "participation in" or the "benefits of" governmental "services, programs, or activities" or otherwise discriminate against an eligible disabled person. 
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered the question of whether Title II should apply to employment discrimination cases.  A Chicago police officer filed a lawsuit claiming that the City discriminated against her in terminating her employment in violation of Title II of the ADA.  Two other circuits (9th and 10th circuits) have held that it does not apply  but one circuit (11th) has held that Title II does extend to employment discrimination claims. 
In Brumfield v. Chicago (Nov. 6, 2013), the Seventh Circuit answered the question whether Title II of the ADA should be a supplemental remedy to Title I to cover employment discrimination, joining the 9th and 10th circuits to hold that Title II does not cover disability discrimination in public employment.  The Seventh Circuit stated that the language of Title II made it clear that it did not apply to employment decisions of state and local governments, finding that "employment" was not covered by the "service, program, or activity of a public entity" provision of Title II, nor did an employee fall within the category of "qualified individuals" who could invoke the protection of Title II. 


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